Minister Nitin Gadkari lays foundation stone of 'Multi Model Logistics Park'

Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari laid the foundation stone of 'Multi Model Logistics Park' under the 'Bharatmala Project' at Jogighopa in Bongaigaon district
Minister Nitin Gadkari lays foundation stone of 'Multi Model Logistics Park'

Project to generate 20 lakh direct and indirect employment

GUWAHATI: Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari laid the foundation stone of 'Multi Model Logistics Park' under the 'Bharatmala Project' at Jogighopa in Bongaigaon district through video conference on Tuesday. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal along with Union Minister for Food Processing Rameswar Teli, State Industries & Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary and State Food, Civil Supplies & Consumers Affairs Minister Phani Bhushan Choudhury were present at the construction site of the project on the occasion. The Government of Assam has transferred 200 acres of land belonging to the 'Ashok Paper Mill' for the project.

Designed as a state-of-art facility, MMLP Jogighopa is envisioned to drive economic growth and trade competitiveness of the country through a truly integrated, seamless, efficient, reliable and cost-effective logistics network. It is aimed to improve the logistics efficiency and facilitate the domestic and export-import trade in the region.

Speaking through video conference from New Delhi, Union Minister Gadkari said that the project, once completed, would generate around 20 lakh direct and indirect employment. He informed that the project to be implemented with a cost of Rs 1,171 crore in two phases is proposed to be completed within 2023. He appreciated the role of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal for realization of the project, and urged him to review implementation by NHIDCL (National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation ) every month for maintaining quality and timely completion of the project.

He also said that his Ministry has allocated around Rs 80,000 crore for roads infrastructure development in Assam and informed that construction of the Rs 5,000 crore Dhubri-Phulbari Bridge would start in next two to three months. He further said that the road from Guwahati to Jogighopa would also be upgraded to four lanes.

Moreover, he said that his Ministry took steps for dredging of the Brahmaputra and the Barak Rivers to boost trade from the region. The Union Minister also informed that the proposal for construction of the 'Brahmaputra Express Highway' is still under consideration and the bridge connecting Nimatighat in Jorhat with Majuli would be finalized shortly.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, in his speech, said that the people of lower Assam always felt neglected as during all these years after the country's Independence no significant industrial development took place in the region. However with the coming up of the 'Multi Model Logistics Park', people of the region have fond new hope; and he thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari for the initiative.

He said that Prime Minister Modi, after taking charge of the country, gave utmost priority for the development of North East and took up many schemes for realizing the inherent potential of the region. He also said that the visit of Union Ministers every fortnight as per direction of the PM helps in quality implementation and timely completion of the development schemes.

He also said that inspired by the Prime Minister Modi, the Assam government organized the 'Global Investors Summit' in 2018; and as a result, investment worth Rs 79,000 crore was received. He further informed that the Central government has taken steps for augmentation of the production capacity of BRPL from 2.5 MMT to 5 MMT and NRL from 3 MMT to 9 MMT, besides setting up a bio fuel plant at Numaligarh. The Central government invested around Rs 42,000 crore alone in the Petroleum sector in Assam, he added.

Sonowal said that the latest step for setting up the 'Multi Model Logistics Park' would revive trade links of erstwhile river port of Dhubri connecting it up to the Chittagong Port of Bangladesh and significantly boost domestic and international trade. He also said that the project offers golden opportunity for the people of lower Assam for economic development.

He said that his government is working for equal development of all sections of people of the state. As part of its efforts for development of lower Assam, medical colleges at Kokrajhar and Dhubri, an engineering college at Bongaigaon, an Ayurvedic college at Goalpara and a government college at South Salmara are being taken up. Sonowal also urged the people for taking collective responsibility to ensure hassle-free implementation of the logistics park.

Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari for MMLP, Jogighopa, Industries & Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said, "Historically Assam used to have a very vibrant trade activity with the neighbouring countries through roadways, railways and riverine waterways. But following Independence and partition, these links got disrupted. However, the 'Act East Policy' has potentially transposed Assam from the periphery of the country to the centre-stage of India's growing relations with ASEAN neighbours. Now protocol agreement has been signed with Bangladesh; and vessels from North East can travel to the Chittagong and Mongla ports of Bangladesh and our link with the sea has been reconnected.

"This Logistics Park will be integrated with roadways, railways and waterways. MMLP, Jogighopa will be a game changer for the economy of Assam and will bring about a sea-change in the overall development of the State," added Minister Patowary. He further appealed to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari to sanction a similar MMLP at Silchar to uniformly develop both the Barak and Brahmaputra valleys.

Union Minister of State for DONER, Dr Jitendra Singh, and Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways General VK Singh spoke on the occasion through video conference, Union Minister of State for Food Processing Rameswar Teli and Minister F&CS Phani Bhushan Choudhury also delivered their speeches during the programme.

On the occasion, MoU was signed between NHIDCL and Ashok Paper Mill.

While Joint Secretary Suman Prasad Singh delivered the welcome address, the programme was attended by MLAs Ananta Malo, Ashwini Ray Sarkar, Dipak Rabha, Ashok Singhi, Rituparna Rabha and senior government officers among others, stated a release. 

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